Cocobod’s annual pre-export finance (PXF) facility is priced at 62.5bps above Libor, higher than the 60bps it offered last year, GTR has learned.

General syndication is set to close today (July 17), and Cocobod is offering fees of 40bps for a US$50mn ticket, 32.5bps for a US$25mn ticket and 25bps for a US$10mn ticket on the one-year facility, sources close to the deal have confirmed.

The bidding process took place amidst domestic tensions regarding the industry’s productivity, with Ghana having to lower its output forecasts for 2015 from 850,000 to 750,000 tonnes in early June, giving a boost to cocoa prices.

According to the International Cocoa Organisation, the drop in expected production was due to strong winds, inadequate rainfall and fertiliser issues, but later in June a report from Ghanaian think tank Danquah Institute stated that it was bad management, corruption and the politicisation of the supply of inputs to cocoa farmers that had led to the productivity losses.

The report, which blamed Cocobod’s CEO Stephen Opuni in particular, were vehemently denied by the board’s council.

The Ghana Cocoa Board closed its senior syndication at US$1.8bn in June. Co-ordinating initial mandated lead arrangers (MLAs) on the 2015 PXF are: Barclays, Commerzbank, Deutsche Bank, Natixis, Standard Bank and SMBC, with the co-operation of Standard Chartered as co-arranger and Ghana International Bank as initial MLA.

ABN Amro, BTMU, Crédit Agricole, DZ Bank, HSBC, Intesa SanPaolo, KfW IPEX-Bank, Nedbank, Qatar National Bank, Rand Merchant Bank (RMB) and Société Générale joined the facility as senior MLAs before the launch of the general syndication.